Covenant Aviation Security
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.|
|Key people||Michael Bolles, President|
|Services||Provides security services to the aviation industry|
Covenant Aviation Security provides airport security services under the Transportation Security Administration’s Screening Partnership Program (SPP). In 2002, CAS was awarded multiple contracts for providing commercial screening services to the TSA under the privatization pilot program initiated by the Aviation and Transportation Security Act. CAS mobilized and hired 1,200 screening personnel at San Francisco International Airport and the Tupelo Regional Airport within six weeks of contract award. In 2005, CAS was awarded the screening contract at Sioux Falls Regional Airport (which was the first airport to de-federalize its workforce under the SPP).
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designated CAS airport passenger and baggage screening services as anti-terrorist technology under the Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act of 2002. Also that year, CAS was awarded the screening contract at Sioux Falls International Airport (FSD). CAS provides security services at John F. Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Orlando International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport.
Security services include but are not limited to the following: passenger and baggage screening, direct access control, personnel screening, cargo screening, CCTV monitoring, report management, security assessments, operate screening equipment (X-ray, Explosive Trace Detection, Walk-Through Metal Detector and Hand-held Metal Detector), and monitoring perimeter intrusion detection systems.
Clients include the federal government (TSA), port and airport authorities and select airlines.
Covenant has TSA certified screeners at ten of 18 airports in the United States that uses private companies under contract with TSA under the Screening Partnership Program.
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – San Francisco/San Mateo County, California
TSA has since awarded contracts to nine airports formerly contracted with Covenant to other companies.
- Sioux Falls Regional Airport (FSD) – Sioux Falls, South Dakota (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in September 2011)
- Tupelo Regional Airport (TUP) – Tupelo, Mississippi (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in May 2006 and VMD-MT Security LLC in August 2012)
- Sidney-Richland Municipal Airport (SDY) – Sidney, Montana (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in August 2009)
- Glendive Dawson Community Airport (GDV) – Glendive, Montana (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in August 2009)
- Glasgow International Airport (GGW) – Glasgow, Montana (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in August 2009)
- Havre City County Airport (HVR) – Havre, Montana (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in August 2009)
- L. M. Clayton Airport (OLF) – Wolf Point, Montana (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in August 2009)
- Lewistown Municipal Airport (LWT) – Lewistown, Montana (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in August 2009)
- Miles City Airport (MLS) – Miles City, Montana (replaced by Trinity Technology Group, Inc. in August 2009)
American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) – AAAE is the world's largest professional organization for airport executives, representing thousands of airport management personnel at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE's members represent some 850 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support airports. AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C. and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities including training, meetings and conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.
Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) – The ACI-NA represents local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA’s members enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. The mission of ACI-NA is to advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of commercial airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities.
Undercover tests of screeners
A November 2006 report by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General found that TSA officials had collaborated with CAS at San Francisco International Airport to tip off CAS screeners to undercover tests. The tests were as to whether the screeners were properly inspecting passengers and their carry-on luggage at security checkpoints. From August 2003 until May 2004, precise physical descriptions of the undercover personnel who were on their way to test checkpoints were communicated to the screeners. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, the report stated that TSA officials and Covenant managers at the airport "notified screening personnel in advance when a tester was approaching a checkpoint and provided their descriptions", and "Officials in the airport's screening control center tracked the undercover testers with surveillance cameras and on foot, the report said, and 'broadcast descriptions and locations of testers to the checkpoints to assist supervisors in identifying testers and to facilitate passing the covert penetration tests.'" An article in the newspaper about a wrongful firing lawsuit related to the events further reported that according to allegations in the lawsuit "Posing as passengers, the decoys try to take dummy bombs, unloaded guns and other contraband through the airport's security checkpoints. But the lawsuit said Covenant tracked the decoys via closed-circuit television cameras and tipped off workers at security gates to expect a test." The handing out of descriptions was then stopped, but until January 2005 screeners were still alerted whenever undercover operations were being undertaken. Despite the report, CAS was rehired with a $314 million, four-year contract at the airport, and while employees of the firm and TSA were disciplined, none lost their jobs. Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson said the report was troubling, observing: "How is the public expected to have any confidence in the screening systems when managers game the system?"
In November 2010, Fox News reported that Representative John Mica (R-Fla), who was pushing for airports to use private contractors in lieu of the TSA, had since 2006 received $1,700 from Gerald Berry in campaign contributions. Mica's spokesman said the contributions had not improperly influenced Mica.
- "Covenant Services Worldwide, LLC". Covenantsecurity.com. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- U.S. General Accounting Office (May 2004). Transportation Security Administration: High-level attention needed to strengthen acquisition function: report to congressional requesters. Diane Publishing. ISBN 1-4289-3846-X. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- "Covenant Services Worldwide, LLC". Covenantsecurity.com. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- "Covenant Aviation Security Lands O'Hare Contract with Great Wall Airlines". PRWeb. March 19, 2008. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- “TSA Awards San Francisco International Airport Private Screening Contract Under Screening Partnership Program”, TSA Press Office, November 2006.
- “PP5 Background” TSA website
- “Covenant/Lockheed Team to Assume Screening Operations at Sioux Falls Under Screening Partnership Program”, TSA Press Office, February 3, 2006.
- "Covenant Aviation Security Receives Safety Act Designation; Protects Contractors From Future Terrorism Liability". PR Newswire. April 25, 2005. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Norman J. Rabkin (2004). Aviation Security: Private Screening Contractors Have Little Flexibility to Implement Innovative Approaches. Diane Publishing. ISBN 1-4223-1919-9. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Cathleen A. Berrick (2006). Aviation Security: Progress Made to Set Up Program Using Private-Sector Airport Screeners, But More Work Remains. Diane Publishing. ISBN 1-4223-0787-5. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Kathleen M. Sweet (2009). Aviation and airport security: terrorism and safety concerns. CRC Press. ISBN 1-4200-8816-5. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- "Sioux Falls airport hiring private screeners". USA Today. December 27, 2005. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- "Covenant Security Worldwide". Covenantsecurity.com. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "Announcements | Transportation Security Administration". Tsa.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "American Association of Airport Executives". AAAE. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- "Airports Council International – North America | The Voice of Airports". Aci-na.org. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Jim Doyle (November 17, 2006). "San Francisco International Airport / Screening tests were sabotaged / Security workers were warned when undercover agent arrived". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Lance Williams (February 22, 2005). "Security firm accused of cheating on SFO test / Checkpoints were alerted to federal decoys, lawsuit says". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Chuck Bennett (February 6, 2009). "Covenant Aviation Security Takes Duties at JFK, LaGuardia". Securityinfowatch.com. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Aaron C. Davis (November 17, 2006). "SF Airport Cheated Security Tests". FOX News. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- "Airport screeners alerted to inspectors". USA Today. November 15, 2006. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- "TSA Tipped Off SF Airport Screeners To Surprise Inspections". KTVU.com. November 16, 2006. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (October 2006). "Review of Allegations Regarding San Francisco International Airport, OIG-07-04" (PDF). Retrieved November 22, 2010.
- Mike Levine and AP (April 7, 2010). "Congressman Seeks to Ditch TSA for Private Firms, Some of Them Campaign Donors". Fox News. Retrieved November 22, 2010.